“No one has the right to make you feel worthless, not even you.” Anon
I got a lot of feedback from my post yesterday regarding self love via my website and email and some of the words broke my heart not because I pity my readers but because I can literally feel your pain both physical and emotional. Like I wrote in my previous post, no one asks for chronic pain, however chronic pain changes a person: a lot. It changed me for ten years plus for the worse and the last and remaining years of my life for the better. One thing a lot of people with chronic pain have difficulty practicing is moderation. I remember working my ass off in college to graduate with the 4.0 I so desperately wanted and hurting my body and mind in the process: over a number! Yes those hot five seconds when I was graduating and heard “Jessica Martin, graduating Summa Cum Lade” are unforgettable. I was proud of myself and more so proud to see the happy look in my fathers eyes. I did not like taking breaks. I wanted to be like my peers and work and do as much as they were able to do with no pain. I remember being so pissed off at people (not rightfully so) that they were able to work out, go out with friends, get amazing grades, and do so swimmingly with zero pain issues.
For myself, the things I regret most during my awful years with chronic pain is the pain I caused myself and my family. I drank so much in college and on and off in my early twenties just to numb the physical pain. I got myself in really stupid, awful situations that made my father so angry. Although one of my favorite movies of all time is “The Hangover” it really is not a fun way to live for weeks at a time. Chronic pain got to a point where I would have tried anything. I had gone the doctor and holistic route involving: surgeries, medications from A to Z, spinal taps, hypnotherapy, chiropractors, acupuncturists, even dentists. I mean after ten years of trying to find a cure one kind of just throws her hands up and says: “Screw this!” That was the day I left for Colorado where I knew I would be surrounded by every partier known to man. It was fun for a bit, okay a lot of it was really fun and if I had to go back in time I would not change anything because I made crazy, amazing memories and more importantly met someone who saw the potential in me to get my chronic pain under control and took me by his wing and drove me to the Mayo Clinic in MN, which saved my life.
Looking at me now, one would never think I have chronic pain. That does not bother me anymore. I used to wish I had half my head shaved and bruises/scars leftover from my accident so that people would know I was in pain. Hence the title of my blog/story. I do not feel that way anymore. The only reason I write about my story is to help others, and it does help me reflect and offers me daily reminders that I need as well. Chronic pain is a journey just as life. However, I do not like to talk about my pain to friends or family as I work my ass off to not bring attention to my pain.
I do not care where you are in your journey with chronic pain, you are going somewhere amazing. NO, right now you cannot do all the things you thought as a young person you could but one day you may be able to. I had brain surgery and have suffered with chronic pain for years and yet I am the biggest athlete in our town. I moderate how I work out. I try and moderate how I do everything but some days I too forget.
There will be enough people in life to make you feel down on yourself. YOU need to be your biggest ally. You are truly not worthless. You got dealt a bad hand in life, it sucks I know! Just take this one day at a time and trust in the process. I despise chronic pain with an absolute passion however, there was a reason that bike accident happened. I have chronic pain but I am here as a success story to bring my story to you. It can either define you or re shape you. None of you are worthless and I truly think of all of you daily. NO good can ever come from putting yourself down. Not worth your time or energy.